Cosmology Design inference News

Tyson bombshell: Universe likely just computer sim

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Kevin Loria tells us at Business Insider:

Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks there’s a ‘very high’ chance the universe is just a simulation

So at this year’s 2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate at the American Museum of Natural History, which addressed the question of whether the universe is a simulation, the answers from some panelists may be more comforting than the responses from others.

Physicist Lisa Randall, for example, said that she thought the odds that the universe isn’t “real” are so low as to be “effectively zero.

But on the other hand, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who was hosting the debate, said that he thinks the likelihood of the universe being a simulation “may be very high.”

“And if that’s the case, it is easy for me to imagine that everything in our lives is just the creation of some other entity for their entertainment,” Tyson says. “I’m saying, the day we learn that it is true, I will be the only one in the room saying, ‘I’m not surprised.'”More.

Would this make Tyson a design proponent of a sort? Interesting, because pop science insists that the space alien is science.

Loria tries hard to make Tyson sound like he is making sense.

See also: Why is the space alien considered to be science?

Rob Sheldon on our universe as a massive computer sim

In search of a road to reality

and

The bill arrives for cosmology’s free lunch

27 Replies to “Tyson bombshell: Universe likely just computer sim

  1. 1
    Querius says:

    If the universe is a simulation, there’s a mind behind it. If there’s a mind behind it, there’s a purpose. If there’s a purpose, there’s an evaluation.

    “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
    -Jesus of Nazareth, Luke 16:10-12 NIV

    Something to think about.

    -Q

  2. 2
    Stephen Sparrow says:

    This too funny by far, Chesterton had the measure of these folk.
    “In dealing with the arrogant asserter of doubt, it is not the right method to tell him to stop doubting. It is rather the right method to tell him to go on doubting, to doubt a little more, to doubt every day newer and wilder things in the universe, until at last, by some strange enlightenment, he may begin to doubt himself.”

    Another apt piece from Chesterton. “The sceptic is like the bee – he gives his one sting and dies.”

  3. 3
    mike1962 says:

    “And if that’s the case, it is easy for me to imagine that everything in our lives is just the creation of some other entity for their entertainment,” Tyson says. “I’m saying, the day we learn that it is true, I will be the only one in the room saying, ‘I’m not surprised.’”

    Actually, I agree with Tyson about that.

    Except that we may be the entities that created it, that is, the real we that existed prior to “incarnation” (attachment) to brain within this “sim.”

    (I object to the term “simulation” with regard to this universe since a simulation is something pretends on some level to be something “more real.” If this universe is, in fact, a simulation, what is it simulating? Nothing. It simply is what it is. At any rate, this universe most definitely is “real”, it just might be something other than what we assume. It could be data objects with a algorithmic computation system. Does that mean it’s less “real”? It depends on what you mean by “real.” Whatever our universe is, it is most certainly a dependent system, which means it’s not “real” in any absolute sense anyway. At any rate, I think a more fitting term for this universe, if it turns out to be a “simulation” is an “algorithmically computed reality.” Or perhaps just “virtual reality”, since relative to whatever is doing the computing, it is virtual.)

  4. 4

    File under “You can’t make this stuff up.”

  5. 5
    Me_Think says:

    If we are in a simulation, highest energy cosmic rays will exhibit a degree of rotational symmetry breaking.

  6. 6

    Tyson has just – unwittingly – given support to the idea of a transcendent Being. Otherwise, you would have an incredibly complex computer “simulation” without a computer programmer.

    Darwinists/atheists are becoming more and more irrational. And I am enjoying every second of it.

  7. 7
    Querius says:

    Mike1962,

    Except that we may be the entities that created it, that is, the real we that existed prior to “incarnation” (attachment) to brain within this “sim.”

    One can see the possibility for an infinite regression. 😉

    -Q

  8. 8
    Querius says:

    Me_Think,

    The questions that you evaded in Do You Believe in Evolution are still waiting for you. I repeated them for your convenience.

    I especially enjoyed your assertion that kinetic energy is proportional to twice the velocity. That’s why I asked you what happens to kinetic energy when you triple the velocity.

    -Q

  9. 9
    goodusername says:

    Truth Will Set You Free,

    Tyson has just – unwittingly – given support to the idea of a transcendent Being. Otherwise, you would have an incredibly complex computer “simulation” without a computer programmer.

    Tyson:

    it is easy for me to imagine that everything in our lives is just the creation of some other entity for their entertainment

    He seems to be aware that such a computer simulation would require programmer(s).

  10. 10

    “He seems to be aware that such a computer simulation would require programmer(s).”

    Or maybe just monkeys on typewriters. 🙂

  11. 11
    Me_Think says:

    Querius @ 8

    I especially enjoyed your assertion that kinetic energy is proportional to twice the velocity. That’s why I asked you what happens to kinetic energy when you triple the velocity.

    Oh!!! I get it now. I thought you were somehow asserting the calculations by Gerald Schroeder were right, which is why I again gave you the KE formula for relativistic speeds (which is what we use for calculating KE at those speeds). For the record, yes it should be squared!

  12. 12
    Querius says:

    Me_think,

    And what happens to kinetic energy when you triple the velocity?

    How is that “proportional to twice the velocity” as you asserted?

    -Q

  13. 13
    Querius says:

    CannuckianYankee,

    The monkeys and typewriters come later. 😉

    -Q

  14. 14
    Querius says:

    I’m only halfway through this fascinating panel discussion, and the panelists have touched on some great points. However, they are somewhat assuming a deterministic universe, which it’s not.

    I’m waiting for someone to introduce the Quantum Zeno effect, in the discussion on consciousness. It’s especially relevant since we now know (and are mostly in denial) that matter and energy don’t actually exist in the forms we’ve gotten used to.

    Everything we call real is made up of things that cannot be regarded as real. If quantum mechanics
    hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it
    yet.

    -Niels Bohr

    The most fundamental definition of reality is not matter or energy, but information—and it is the
    processing of information that lies at the root of all physical, biological, economic, and social phenomena.

    -Vlatko Vedral

    -Q

  15. 15
    Me_Think says:

    Querius @ 12

    And what happens to kinetic energy when you triple the velocity?
    How is that “proportional to twice the velocity” as you asserted?

    Read my comment #11 again. If you feel slighted by my showing Gerald Schroeder calculations is wrong, I can’t help it. It is you who brought up the discussion in the other thread. The KE at non-relativistic speed is irrelevant. I have already clarified in comment # 11 – after you pointed out -that proportionality should be “Squared”.
    Unless you can add relevant substance to the discussion, there is no point in continuing this discussion.

  16. 16
    Origenes says:

    Ventor: “Someone asked me why I think I can do better than God and I answered: because we have computers” (screams of laughter from the audience).

    Little do they know about the true irony of their situation.

  17. 17
    EvilSnack says:

    Mr. Tyson, I am going to hold you to the same standards to which you hold ID theorists:

    Which repeatable experiment, conducted under laboratory conditions, provides the evidence for your claim that the universe is a simulation?

  18. 18
    Splatter says:

    I really don’t get this. Every now and then, someone in the scientific community (or its entourage) proclaims we might be living in a simulation or on some lower-dimensional projection of some out-of-reach spooky ultra reality. New Scientist and Nature would both have the God hypothesis on their front cover if it wasn’t for the cultural trap they are in. I guess alcohol would be a class A drug too. It’s funny how all the little human moments add up to make what we think, with contingency seemingly playing such a powerful role. It seems that provided one describes intelligent action and extra realms and modes of existence in a cryptic, ponderous way, laced with atheistic boundary-marking disclaimers, we’re all good. What a weird species we make!

  19. 19
    Querius says:

    EvilSnack,
    You should have seen Dr. Tyson’s astonished reaction in a previous discussion/debate when presented the scientific possibility that our universe might be a simulation! I think that the primary evidence comes from quantum mechanics—see my quotes in 14 above. The quantum zeno effect, quantum erasure, and quantum entanglement are also indications, but by no means proof.

    I’m about halfway through the panel debate/discussion, which I’m finding both fun and fascinating, even humorous in parts.

    -Q

  20. 20
    Querius says:

    Origenes,

    Yes, and they make other telling comments about whether “the programmer” was “wise” . . . all fair game.

    But the major point is that the doors of physics have been blown open to the reasonable possibility of the existence of God. Actually, it’s been this way for decades, but hasn’t been integrated into the scientific narrative, and certainly has been avoided by people believing in materialism.

    -Q

  21. 21
    Querius says:

    Me_Think,

    You continue to evade my questions, but you’ll find my response in Do You Believe in Evolution?

    -Q

  22. 22
    Querius says:

    Splatter,

    So true.

    Unfortunately, it’s hard for many people, myself included, to follow the data when it seems to be leading the “wrong” way.

    -Q

  23. 23
    ppolish says:

    I’m curious to know when the simulation began for Mr Tyson. Last night? 6000 years ago? 13.6 billion years ago?

    Those would be very different simulation programs for sure.

  24. 24
    Querius says:

    ppolish,

    Interesting question. I’m sure that for Dr. Tyson and the panel, it would have begun billions of years ago. Current estimates are now 13.8 billion years ago this coming August. 😉

    -Q

  25. 25
    Me_Think says:

    ppolish @ 23 Querius @ 24

    I’m curious to know when the simulation began for Mr Tyson. Last night? 6000 years ago? 13.6 billion years ago?
    Those would be very different simulation programs for sure.

    Going by Gerald Schroeder calculations, it would be just a few days- depending on God’s velocity and suitable adjustment to GR and SR. 🙂

  26. 26
    ppolish says:

    Ok, so I’ll guess Neil is an Old Earth Simulationist. Also seems to believe the creator is very very smart – but may stop short of “him” being omniscient?

    How far of a stretch would it be for Neil to believe in a simulated afterlife I wonder. Considered a sequel in entertainment circles.

  27. 27
    Me_Think says:

    ppolish @ 26

    How far of a stretch would it be for Neil to believe in a simulated afterlife I wonder. Considered a sequel in entertainment circles.

    Shouldn’t be a stretch at all. Although for every 1 person alive there are about 15 dead people, they are spirits. Since Spirits are not bound, they can pile on top of each other, can move about without constrains of limbs, and there wouldn’t be other species except butterflies-according to Dr.Eben Alexander, who went to heaven and came back- so computational resources for simulation of afterlife will be very less.
    Unfortunately,Dr.Eben Alexander has not visited hell yet, so we don’t know the approximate computational resource needed to simulate hell and heaven separately for Christians.
    About Muslims.. well, every terrorist will have 72 other spirits… so I really can’t be sure about computational resources needed for their heaven.
    Isn’t it ironical that both terrorists and victims go to heaven?

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